Arboleda Open BIM Project

BIM Projects

BIM brings together design, analysis, collaboration, and documentation for the benefit of all parties involved in a building project. Yet so many programs force creative constraints upon the design. But Vectorworks Architect software allows you to find your balance—to maintain creative freedom while making it easy for everyone involved in the project to efficiently work together.

The Arboleda Open BIM Project is an example of this efficiency and a demonstration of how to implement a BIM workflow using Vectorworks software. For this project, our industry specialists examined Arboleda, a residential building in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Designed by the architectural firm Modo Forma, Arboleda is a multi-family, multi-story in-fill project that was completed in 2011. The building is sited in the middle edge of a city block. Existing structures surround the building and help to frame the iconic appearance of the tower amid Santo Domingo’s urban landscape.

The Modo Forma team executed this residential project with a BIM approach; however, it was limited to architectural purposes only. Therefore, Nemetschek Vectorworks, with the support of its global partners, wanted to investigate the project more deeply by revisiting and documenting what could have happened if the project had been realized using a collaborative Open BIM approach based on the Vectorworks program and the IFC file format. The culmination of this desire is what you see here and what’s known as the “Arboleda Open BIM Project.”

How They Did It

Nemetschek Vectorworks has documented the Arboleda-Open BIM Project through a series of videos that illustrate Arboleda’s evolution from concept through construction using an Open BIM workflow and the IFC file format. Watch and learn how the team tackled each step in the process and how a firm like yours could adopt a similar approach to its future work.

Video 1: Space Planning Tools

The space planning tools within the Vectorworks platform offer different means for analysis, along with the ability to report the data. The space planning workflow for the Arboleda project begins as a measured paper sketch of a typical residential unit within the building that is converted to an image file and imported into Vectorworks software. This video depicts how to apply space objects to an imported sketch, and reveals the range of simple options for creating space objects and extracting data and reports.

Video 2: Energy Analysis with IES-VE

This two-part video summarizes how the team incorporated energy analysis within the Open BIM workflow via the IFC file format as a measurement and verification process. Watch what the team learned regarding the power and capabilities of IES Virtual Environment software, as well as the rules of proper modeling and when to incorporate this step into the process (i.e., early in the design process or within the project’s life cycle).

Video 3: Site and Massing Models

When designers want the flexibility to investigate the impact of a building’s location on the site’s topography, one approach is to explore the interaction between a building information model and a site information model. This video shows users how to apply a cut and fill analysis to a site model, as well as modify and evaluate the digital site model using the massing model.

Video 4: Building Information Models for Landscapes

This video reveals one method for the collaborative file exchange between architects and landscape architects based on the use of the IFC file format and the Solibri Model Checker. Viewers walk through the different Vectorworks site objects and associated IFC designations and see Vectorworks site objects exported in the IFC file format. The video ends with how to view the file and site data within Solibri Model Checker, as well as share that data with other AEC industry professionals.

Video 5: File Management for IFC

Because the process of crafting a building can be a time-consuming endeavor, using building information models inevitably provides the means to quickly and efficiently coordinate your project by providing the information and geometry necessary to execute a plan. This video offers instruction on how to prepare a filtered IFC file from within Vectorworks software. It also describes how the IFC export process functions within the program to provide only the absolutely necessary information to the right members of a project team.

Video 6: Structural Analysis with Scia Engineer

This video shows how Scia Engineer software is used to analyze and design the Arboleda building’s structural system, taking a raw model from the architect to produce a filtered, analytical model. Engineers first import the architectural design as an IFC file. Then, watch as they assess and visualize the project by filtering, selecting, and isolating the requisite IFC data for structural engineering purposes.

Video 7: MEP Systems Design with DDS-CAD

To design the mechanical, engineering, and plumbing (MEP) systems contained in the Arboleda project, the plans were handed off to DDS-CAD, a firm that develops CAD solutions for the construction industry. This two-part video shows how DDS-CAD imported the architectural BIM from the Vectorworks platform as an IFC file to begin its design process and basic systems layouts. It also highlights the importance of starting this process with an accurate building information model to achieve a good result.

Video 8: Egress Analysis with Solibri Model Checker

Next, see how to perform a general egress analysis on the Arboleda building information model by using the Solibri Model Checker. This video walks viewers through the range of options for identifying exits and performing the analysis. It also describes how to create an Excel spreadsheet of the egress analysis within Solibri Model Checker. This step either validates proper egress routes or identifies areas that need to be redesigned to meet the established egress requirements.

Video 9: Federated Models with Solibri Model Checker

This video articulates the importance of an iterative design process when approaching BIM. First, see how the IFC files for all of the project disciplines can be combined into a federated model within Solibri Model Checker. Then, learn how to navigate and filter information based upon the different project disciplines, as well as perform model validation and clash detection for the aggregated building information model for the QA/QC process.

Video 10: Material and Quantity Takeoffs with Solibri Model Checker

This final video reveals how material and quantity takeoffs can be performed on the IFC file within Solibri Model Checker. See how the results can be reported as an Excel spreadsheet and how the level of analysis can be filtered and customized from a macro to micro scale.

Download Project Files

Architecture (IFC) (ZIP)
Electrical (IFC) (ZIP)
Mechanical (IFC) (ZIP)
Plumbing (IFC) (ZIP)
Structural (IFC) (ZIP)
Energy (ZIP)

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